Finished objects and WIPs

Wow it’s been two months since I last posted an entry. I hadn’t realised it had been so long, but I think I know why I have been so laxed in writing entries.

At the end of August I started a new full time job as a temp, which is quite stressful and not quite what I was looking for, but I suppose it’s a job at the end of the day. Although I don’t feel comfortable in this position and I feel that I am really not that good at parts of it, I know that if I don’t make the effort to try to do these things then I will not get any better at them. So as much as it isn’t an ideal job for me, partly because there is far too much interaction with people for my tastes, I know there are worse jobs out there.

Since my last post I have started getting on with Christmas gift knitting, and have already finished on gift. I am working on two gifts at the moment, and on a top for myself. I am also doing as much drop spindle spinning as I can fit in, I may have a slight obsession with hand spinning and fiber.

As I said before, I have finished knitting one Christmas gift since my last post, I have also finished three other projects, two of them were for me, and one was a made to order commission.

Firstly the commission, my mum asked me if I would knit a shawl similar to one I had made for her, but in pinks, because she wanted to give one of her sisters a gift. It took me a little while to pick out the shades of pink which I thought my aunt would like, and which also worked well together, but weren’t too similar. And this is the result, an entrelac shawl (English Rose), knitted in two shades of Old Maiden Aunt Shetland 4ply, Twu Wuv and Last Nights Red Dress, with the addition of Eden Cottage Yarns Milburn 4ply in Blossom.

My next finished object to share is a lace and twisted stitches top (Tea for me.) knitted in Malabrigo Yarn Sock, the colourway is call African Violet. The pattern for this top is by Emma Vining and is called Time For Tea. The pattern can be found in The Knitter, Issue 87.

And finally, I knitted a shawl for myself, however, I decided that I needed to write down the pattern for this shawl, once I have finished writing out the pattern I will write another post. I just need to get some better photographes of this shawl and then I’ll be nearly finished with the shawl pattern. I will be posting it on Ravelry for download when it is finished.

Watch this space, and happy crafting.

Owl and Lavender

Todays post is about my latest finished projects. I don’t think I’ve really stopped knitting gifts since the first couple of months after Xmas, which is all well and good. So this post is about another knitted gift, and also about something for me. So since I cast off the maple leaf shawl I knitted for my best friend I instantly cast on a shawl for my mum as it was her birthday at the start of this month. I find it helpful to have to projects on the go at the same time, basically if anyone asks what I’m knitting and they are the person the gift knit is for then I don’t really want to be showing off what I’m knitting for them if I intend it to be a surprise, so I like to have something for me on the go at the same time, yes sneaky I know, but it works, plus I get something for me.

Anyhow, this year I decided to knit my mum an entrelac shawl with a lavender theme, now if you’ve read any of my previous posts you may recall that I have knitted entrelac shawls before not only for myself (as in Finally complete!), but also for one of my aunts (the pink shawl in Not more knitted gifts!?and also my best friend (the storm grey shawl in  More than just knitted gifts.). So baring in mind how much I adore yarn by Eden Cottage Yarn, I knew I had to knit my mum’s birthday gift in their beautiful yarn. It just so happened that I had two skeins of BFL Sock in two different shades of purple (Wisteria and Damson) and two skeins of Milburn 4ply in Steel in my stash, which I was having trouble picking out a project for, mainly because I wanted to knit something with all three colours.

Now two of the entrelac shawls I’ve knitted were knitted in Eden Cottage Yarns BFL sock, which knits up into a gorgeous fabric, so I knew what to expect with those two skeins. But I’ve only ever knitted with the original Milburn 4ply and that was just a sweater and fingerless mitts, so knitting a shawl with the relaunched Milburn 4ply would be something different and interesting. I have to say I wasn’t disappointed, I mean I loved the original Milburn, but the new Milburn is even softer and the colour stands out so much more. When comparing the steel colour of the new Milburn with the grey of the original Milburn, you can see the difference. The steel colour stands out so much more and yarn has much more of a sheen which adds to the colour. I am really pleased with the how the shawl I knitted turned out. I was extremely surprised with how large it turned out to be, the other entrelac shawls I’ve knitted only had 400 metres of yarn go into them, so basically one skein, where as my mums one had about 500 metres of yarn knitted into it, and wow its so big. Even better is I still have half a skein of each of the BFL sock skeins and more of the Milburn left so I can knit something else with those (maybe something for me :D).

So thats the gift knit that I finished recently. Now for the knit for me. At Xmas a friend gave me a super knitting pattern book called Knitting Wizardry: 27 Spellbinding Projects. I’d been wanting this book for ages, mainly because there is a cardigan in it which I’ve been wanting to knit for myself since I saw it on Ravelry. This cardigan is called Ginny’s Cardigan on Ravelry but is called Owl Cardigan in the book, which could be a little confusing. Anyhow, I decided at the start of June as a birthday gift to myself that I needed wool to knit this cardigan, and really really wanted British wool to knit it with. Luckily for me the most wonderful new online shop dedicated to British yarn opened at the start of June. So this saw me ogling loads of DK on their site trying to work out what would work best with this Owl Cardigan, and after much uming and arring I decided on West Yorkshire Spinners Jacobs DK in Brown/Black. So after finishing my fingerless mitts I knew I had to cast this cardigan on, the wool is so yummy, so sheepy and it smells delicious (OK OK, I love the smell of wool, yum). Now I have to say that I really do recommend popping by Brityarn, the lovely online shop I purchased this yarn from, the owner, Isla is super and the yarn is delicious.

I did add a few little mods to my cardigan, I made the sleeves longer, not because I have long arms (I really don’t) but because I like my wrists and tops of my hands to be cosy. I eliminated the pockets, I really didn’t see the need for them. And I chose to eliminate the button holes from the button band, why I hear you ask, well I wasn’t really in the mood to be making buttonholes and then having to sew round them and all that, and I like to back my button bands with ribbon and I find it awkward doing that around buttonholes. So I chose to use snap fastenings along with backing the button bands with ribbon.

So those are my latest finished objects, I’m so happy with all of them.

I’m currently working on Xmas gifts, a new top for myself, altering a bunch of my clothes (well I have to start using my sewing machine for something), and I’m also working on a semi secret project (so watch this space).

Happy crafting all :D.

Something dressy

I am super pleased with my latest finished object, a while ago I found a pattern for a dress on Ravelry which I just had to have. That pattern is called Maddie and is by Purl Alpaca Designs. It is lovely, and I will definately have to knit another one. I substituted the recommended yarn with Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn, which is gorgeous, I chose the black/grey/purple colour way, as black and purple are my favourite colours. I wanted to see what the dress would look like knit in a multicoloured yarn. When I knit it again I will use a solid colour yarn.

This is how my dress turned out, I love it, it feels super pretty and warm. The sleeves in the pattern come to just above the elbow, I wanted long sleeves that reached to my wrist so I modified them, and tapered them up so that they weren’t too loose, also modified the body slightly as I realised it was turning out quite long, and I am a little short (5ft3 to be exact).

Another Cardigan Down

Cute And Cropped Cardigan

I finally finished knitting this cardigan today, the photo above is of the cardigan pre-blocking. I’ve since washed this cardigan, and laid it out on my dining table with lots of colourful pins in it (blocked it). I’m debating the merits of cutting up some scappy fabric I have kicking around and using it to stablise the button bands (as the grosgrain ribbon I have is too wide for the button bands on this cardigan). As I often have problems with button band stability I’m swaying in favour of this idea, but at the same time I know it will mean me either figuring out how to use the sewing machine my mum lent me, or hand stitching around the fabric first, its a silk kaftan that is beyond repair. I have already decided to use more pretty rabbit buttons (I need to buy more of those soon, maybe some different ones).

The yarn I used wasn’t the weight recommended for the pattern, as the smallest size avaliable to knit was a 34″ bust, which would have been too big as I have 32″ bust. So instead of trying to find a nice worsted weigh wool, or a slightly thicker DK, I opted for Shilasdair Luxury DK w/Camel, which I think feels closer to 4pky in weigh than DK, maybe sport weight, but definately not a DK yarn. Either way I’ve achieved the size I was aiming for. I did find with the yarn I use that where I wrap the yarn around my fingers for tension that I ended up with slightly blue fingers due to dye rubbing off. I can only assume this was down to it being hand dyed and the type of dye used. I did find when I washed the cardigan for the first time that a lot of dye came out. so I will have to be careful when washing it in future just in case it does the same every wash.

I’m looking forward to wearing this cardigan, it feels beautiful. Also I can’t wait to start knitting my next few projects. I recently bought some yarn to knit a Christmas pressie for my best friend, and yarn to knit a little pressie for one of my aunts. On the note of Christmas pressies I really should start making more effort to look for gifts for everyone.

How many projects.?

Well currently I’m knitting three things at once, not literally at once, but as near as. I need about 7 or 8 more balls of wool for one project to finish it, but other than that its all going well. I’m mainly focusing on the cardigan I’m knitting for my dad at the moment, was very pleased with myself to have actually managed to do shaping for the first time, maybe not the best idea to be doing it on a big project like a cardigan but still, its working well. Was extra pleased with myself when I managed to work a pocket into the cardigan. Yes I am working from a pattern, but I’ve never knitted a cardigan, and I’ve never knitted pockets or done shaping, so I definately have a right to be pleased. On top of it, I’ve nearly been knitting a year now. I’ve still not finished the blanket I’m working on, but I’m slowly adding squares to it, but at the moment I’m focusing on things for christmas. I need to start the jumper I’ll be knitting for my older brother, I just hope I manage it without making a mess of it, seeing as it’ll be the first time I’ve knitted in the round.

I hope that Sam (my other half) likes the item I’m knitting for him, this is the project I need an extra lot of wool for, as originally I was going to knit something different, and still might if I get more than enough wool. But the thing I’m knitting (I’ll not name it, as I don’t know if he reads this) is going to be reasonably big, hence the need for more wool.